Jan Needle was born in Portsmouth on the south coast of England and moved to the north west when he was 20 to join the Daily Herald.
At 25 he left full-time journalism and took a degree in drama at Manchester University, where he started writing plays for stage and radio, then short stories and later novels.
In later years he made a living with journalism, radio and television drama, stage plays, and novel-writing, at first for children and later for adults too. He has also written books and essays of dramatic criticism.
His first novel, Albeson and the Germans, was published in l977, and was followed within two years by My Mate Shofiq and A Fine Boy for Killing, both of which are still in print.
He has since written a many novels for children and adults, some making it onto the stage and screen. He continued the William Bentley series of nautic
al historic fictions, with which he hopes to strip the genre of some of its romantic elements (and still make a living!).
More recently he has created “young person’s” versions of Moby Dick and other classics, to open up this sometimes heavy-going world to a new generation.
Find out more, in his own words.